Moroccan Lamb Stew with Figs, Chickpeas and Couscous

morrocan lamb stewI like the oriental kitchen a lot, especially couscous and the tagines with their oriental spices, almonds and fruits such as apricots, plums or figs. They don’t only remind me of great holidays in Marrakech 2 years ago, but also to my time in Paris where I frequently met friends at the “Mosqué de Paris” for an afternoon at the hammam, followed by some great Moroccan food. I made this Moroccan lamb stew when we had visitors over to spend new years and a couple of days with us. I prepared it the day before it arrived – so I didn’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen and could instead catch up with our friends from Sweden who we do not meet so often. As it’s the case with most other stews, they can easily be prepared in advance, and some times they even taste better the next day…

My sister Katja had a good selection of christmas presents for us this year… not only did I get the book “From Plate to Pixel” (polite hint to work on my food photography skills…), but Timo also got a nice one: Weber’s “Winter Grilling“. It has lots of nice recipes that inspire to get out to the grill, even when it’s cold and dark, and it also contains this recipe for the Moroccan lamb stew. But to be frank, I didn’t really see the point why a stew in a pot should be cooked on the grill, so I made it on the stove. The result was good and I stayed warm…

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Figs, Chickpeas and Couscous
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Meat
Cuisine: Moroccan
Serves: 4-6
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • Stew
  • 1kg of lamb (4cm large cubes, from the lamb shank)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2-3 tbsp Ras-el-Hanout (moroccan blend of spices)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of grated ginger
  • 750ml lamb stock
  • 1 small can san marzano tomatoes
  • 12 dried figs
  • 1 piece of cinnamon bark
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 250g instant couscous
  1. Mix the lamb with the marinade and put into the fridge for at least one hour (you can leave it for up to 24 hours). Take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before frying it.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot (I use a cast iron pot) and fry the meat from all sides (in 3-4 portions). Put the meat into a bowl and put it aside.
  3. Add the onion and the grated carrot and stew them at medium heat until soft. Add ras-el-hanout, salt and pepper followed by the garlic and ginger and stew for for some minutes whilst stirring. Finally, add the lamb stock, tomatoes, figs, cinnamon and the meat including its juice. If the meat is not yet fully covered, add some more lamb stock.
  4. Bring to boil, cover the pot and let simmer at medium heat for about 1 hour.
  5. Take off the lid and cook for 1½ to 2 hours more, until the meat is very tender and the sauce thickens. Add the chickpeas and season to taste with pepper and salt.
  6. Prepare the couscous as instructed and serve with the hot lamb stew.


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